Complicated beauty rituals are no longer a purely feminine preoccupation. The current male beauty standard demands a level of effort and curation that men have not been exposed to in the past. The pressure to attain this image ideal is even higher with social perceptions and stereotypes.
Nigerian painter and sculptor Ben Enwonwu was one of the first modern African artists to win international critical acclaim. His career has increased the global visibility and proliferation of modern African art. An impact crater on the planet Mercury has even been named “Enwonwu” in his honour.
The first-ever original work of art created using artificial intelligence – a machine-learning algorithm that scans historical artwork – has been sold at auction. “Portrait of Edmond de Belamy” (2018) was sold for an astonishing US$432,500.
Having frequently suffered from malaria as a child, Joan Nalubega, a social entrepreneur and the co-founder of Uganics, was inspired to create a venture that would tackle the disease that accounts for 20% of Uganda’s hospital deaths.
“Dark Tourism” is the travel or patronage of historical and cultural sites that are in some way connected to death or disaster. Dark tourism is said to help alleviate taboos and perceptions associated with morbid locations while educating travelers on their significance.
The “Shaka Rising” saga is nuanced retelling of one of Africa most prominent historical legends. It narrates a young prince’s rise to power as he guides his new kingdom through warfare, mediation and political alliances to defend his people against the expanding slave trade.
Evariste Akoumian, a 37-year-old Ivorian, invented the “Solarpak”, a schoolbag with a solar panel and a lamp, to improve the education of young schoolchildren from rural, non-electrified areas. Using the lamp, children can now comfortably study after dark.
Cameroon-born academic Dr Olivette Otele became the first black woman professor of history in the UK, at Bath Spa University. She specialises in collective memory and geopolitics, particularly as related to the colonial histories of Britain and France.
The youth of Africa today are positioned in an intermingling of cultural identities and there is a need to find a contemporary style that merges those identities. Black dandyism has helped curate an aesthetic that is well groomed, refined yet inclusive of African sensibilities. Most of all, it has ushered in the age of African gender fluid fashion.